NOP, New Ordinary People, is a sustainability movement brand that makes urban streetwear.

by Team Conscious Carma

“NOP is a sustainable clothing brand born from the deep desire to at least try to do something about our future”, says Grete Merlyn Kaljumaee, founder, NOP.

The journey of the idea

When I was a small kid and just started to discover the world, I picked up a beautiful flower. My grandma told me that I just killed it. She is not a bad person as could be imagined from this short story, but that day she made me cry. It was a lesson that made me acknowledge that everything around me is alive.

When I was 14, I moved to Italy with my family. I wanted to study fashion as I loved to sew, but I ended up studying design. One day I casually saw the Minimalism movie trailer which made me think: everything we produce ends up somewhere.

This opened up a whole new world for me and I started to do some research to know more about what is underneath our consumerism society. Nothing good I’d say…

The start

It’s easy to feel too small to do something about the climate change, but we do have one thing that gives us power: our choices. The more I know the better I choose what to buy and from whom. All this ended up in me being eager to share my newly discovered reality. I’m personally a zero-waster, so I want to know how everything I use is sourced, I need to touch the clothes I buy to feel the quality and I like to wear smart streetwear. Which came to be a problem – I didn’t like anything zero-waste shops had to offer.

This is the exact moment when NOP was born. NOP is New Ordinary People/Person which is, in few words, the new conscious consumer. The intent is to make sustainability normal, awesome and wearable. I don’t make anything I wouldn’t love wear. 

It’s not easy to start a brand, there are so many aspects to look after if you want to be sustainable: you must consider all points of the supply chain from the raw materials to the end product. The workers should and must have decent working conditions and the material itself has to have minimal impact for the planet. Not to mention about the carbon footprint, not an easy one to handle.

In fact, there is a dilemma: is it better to use locally sourced materials and have a zero carbon footprint, or is it better to choose an international Fair Wear certified producers in emergent countries? In the first case we’re ignoring the bad working conditions in countries that are exploited by the fashion industry, in the second it’s nearly impossible to have a zero carbon footprint.

We proudly source our certified raw organic cotton from small farms in India and the production of the textile in Bangladesh. The change in the quality of life comes from the change of the working conditions. The change of the working condition comes when we choose to buy from who treats people well.

The brand and the industry

New Ordinary People is a sustainability movement brand that makes urban streetwear. It’s also zero-waste because waste as a concept, is not sustainable. If you look at the nature, there is no such thing as waste – it’s a human invention. You can actually bury our T-shirts and there will be nothing left after a month. But at the same time, NOP goes all in to address fast fashion.

People buy new stuff in every season to feel fulfilled or happy somehow. Why? It’s a mix between lifestyle commercials telling how happy people look like and the stress the modern lifestyle gathers. We basically don’t even need the clothes we buy. Even if we’d use all the clothes we buy until they’re done, they’ll be done in a couple of months because of the low quality of the material. That’s logical, because Fast Fashion implies that a garment doesn’t have to last for more than a season. This costs A LOT on our overall wallet and on our planet.

And therefore, NOP doesn’t have seasonal sales. We produce only if a piece is ordered. This mindset cuts down leftovers as we have none. It’s not necessary to make more than a person needs, but it is important to make something that lasts for years. Just like in the old times. And as every shirt we make has 0,27 kg of CO2 emissions, to give the air back to the planet, we plant a tree with each product bought.

Fashion industry is just a small piece of the whole puzzle, but we believe if we’d all do something good for our planet, in a way we can afford to, we can still save our planet.

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